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God the Lord.” All the herds in the neighbourhood, on hearing this, come out of their huts, take their horns, and repeat the words. This often continues a quarter of an hour, whilst on all sides the mountains echo the name of God. A profound and solemn silence follows; every individual offers his secret prayer on bended knees, and with uncovered head. By this time it is quite dark,—" Good night," trumpets forth the herd on the loftiest summit; “Good night” is repeated on all the mountains from the horns of the herds and the clefts of the rocks. Then each one lays himself down to rest.'
3.78 Cote pondulo, Frammerincipiure dilang isa alla Fine
Art. IX.-1. Armance, ou quelques Scènes d'un Salon de Paris,
en 1827. 2 tom. Paris. 1827. 2. La Cour d'un Prince Régnant, ou les Deux Maitresses. Par
le Baron de Lamothe-Langon, auteur de « l'Espion de Police,
&c. 3 tom. deux. éd. Paris. 1827. 3. Il Castello di Trezko, Novella Storica di G. B. B. Milano,
1827. 4. Cabrino Fondulo, Frammento della Storia Lombarda sul Fi
nire del Secolo XIV. e il Principiare del XV. Opera di Vin.
cenzo Lancetti Cremonese. 2 tom. Milano. 1827. 5. Sibilla Odaleta, Episodio della Guerra d'Italia alla Fine del
Secolo XV. Romanzo istorico d'un Italiano. (In continuazione alla Biblioteca amena ed istruttiva per le Donne gentile.) 2 tom.
1827. 6. Schloss Avalon. Frei nach dem Englischen des Walter
Scott, vom Uebersetzer des Walladmor. In 3 Bänden. Leipzig.
1827. 7. Valdemar Seier, Valdemar the Victorious ; an Historical
Romance. By B. S. Ingemann. Copenhagen. 1826. THE Grub-street
Xesp' I Jéxm! Met' žedna, Let' aayaa winga,
'Ασπασιως τέον ούδας ικανομαι-(to borrow Dr. Johnson's affectionate salutation of our mothercountry,) the Grub-street population of every land carefully follows, at a great distance of course, the example set by those dwelling in more favoured spots of literature. The apprentice boys of the Strand or Cheapside do not make a more vigorous attempt at imitating the fashions of St. James's-street, or succeed more awkwardly. We run as little chance of mistaking the hack anthor, the literary ticket-porter, when aping the style of his masters, as we do of being duped by Tom Errand, dressed in Clincher's clothes. We shall confine ourselves, on the present occasion, to novels, though the rule is universal, and applicable to all classes of the servum pecus, from avowed fools to professed
philosophers. philosophers. In England, one great author has opened the almost untrodden path of the historical novel, and accordingly we find that every ingenious youth or literary spinster, who can read an abridgment of history made easy, favours us with a distortion of the historical catechism, in which every element employed by Sir Walter Scott in his novels is sedulously imitated, except his genius. The very kind of hero, the double heroine, the exact sort of soldier, of lawyer, of landlord, the very cant words, every thing down to the mistakes, are preserved with an industry worthy of a better fate. There is to be sure the one thing wanting; the crew of imitators have gathered the dry bones, but they want the power of inspiring them with life.
The same class in France have caught their tone in some measure from England ; but it is a tone which partakes more of Lord Byron, than of Sir Walter Scott. The gloomy and misanthropic view of human affairs in which his lordship indulged was amazingly popular in Paris. It was a fine thing to be miserable for nothing, and what could be more cheaply romantic than to bear about a clouded brow' in scenes of gaiety? Even in good society there was something quite attractive in this masquerade sorrow which suited the essentially theatrical character of the French ; in low life it was irresistible. The muscadin au cinquième' was as high in soul and forehead, if possible, as his lodging; and his revels at a guinguette, or his woes on a lacrymose expedition to Père la Chaise, to hang fustian flowers upon the tomb of kindred genius, were rendered more striking by the occasional adoption of the gloomy bearing of Lord Byron's single hero, Childe Harold. This gentleman, or other more direct imilations of his German prototypes, figures in one shape or another in a thousand novels; and his tone of sentiment, and manner of regarding human affairs, meet us in almost every roman we take up.
At home, their great exemplar is the Viscount de Chateaubriand, who has formed his novel style upon an imitation of the faults of Bernardin St. Pierre. The Viscount's Atala is a careful selection of whatever is feeble in thought in Paul and Virginia or the Indian Cottage, delivered in a style which is a cento of whatever can be found inflated in diction in the worst written passages of Florian. His Natchez is a still more striking combination of meanness and phebus. Madame de Cottin, in her beautiful tale of Elizabeth, alone succeeded in catching the tone and feeling of St. Pierre, and it appears to have deserted her in her other works. The novels of Madame de Staël in their novel part were German, not French; in other respects they were the brochures of a critic, a reviewer, a smart literary lady, distinguished in salons, moving among diplomatists and statesmen ; of the daughter of Necker, intent
on inculcating her father's maxims of government ; of the learned blue, bent on disseminating, through the shape of a novel, the critical doctrines which she had elsewhere poured, ex cathedra, upon her readers in works professedly devoted to criticism. We should be sorry to have it thought, that we are inclined to disparage the talents or labours of the most remarkable woman of our times; but we believe, that even her friends will agree with us in saying, that in a précis of French novels of the nineteenth century, we may, without any injury to her fame as an authoress, omit the names of Corinne or Delphine,
But we are conscious that this is too heavy a head for an article on the current novels of the year in Paris. Suppose, then, that we waive for the present all discussion as to the sources or appliances of the modern French novelists, the Grub-street purveyors for the reading public in France, and take, without further ceremony, the first couple that have come to our hands, as samples of the whole. We shall be quite impartial in our choice, and commence by assuring our readers that there has been no very remarkable novel in any genre this year among our neighbours. We may, therefore, without any injustice take the first pair that lies on our table.
* Armance, ou quelques Scènes d'un Salon de Paris en 1827,' is a piece of superfine sentimentality. Its title is rather deceptious, for it hardly purports to give scenes of fashionable life, and those with which it does present us, paint the manners of good society in Parisian salons with much the same accuracy that novels of the same class depict the manners of our gentlemen and ladies in England. If any thing like the goings on’described in Armance' be the common usages of Parisian company, they ought to cease to accuse us of amusing ourselves * tristement,' for any thing more • lugubre’ than the doings of the salons of Madames de Malivert and Bonnivert cannot be conceived. The editor, however, very indignantly disclaims any personal applications in the manner of those romances très piquans Vivian Grey, Almacks, High Life, Matilda, &c. qu'on fait à Londres, and which by this time, we may assure him, have quietly descended to the tomb of all the Capulets~
Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung. Octave, the hero, is quite a model for young gentlemen in that situation. He is a young man of abundance of “esprit' (which unfortunately, however, he keeps carefully concealed throughout the book,) a lofty stature, noble manners, the handsomest large black eyes in the world, but yet with something so sombre in those mild orbs, that they were more the objects of compassion than envy. Young as he was, nothing gaye him either pain or
pleasure. Like his literary parents, Childe Harold and Co., he was a misanthrope, avant l'age. What the proper age for misanthropy is, we are not informed.
His mother, the only person of whom he is fond, calls in Dr. Duquesnel and other physicians, who put him under a regimen for an affection of the chest. This was rather agreeable, for but for their medical disputes, in which they speedily engaged, not a sound of the human voice would have been heard in the nobly furnished but sombre hotel de Malivert.' We have then some twenty pages on the state of Octave's chest, in the course of which we learn that his mother pawns her jewels to the amount of 4000 franks (1601.) to buy him an English horse.
His father was an old royalist, whose politics had diminished his property to some 20 or 30,000 francs, and who is very miserable on that account. The law of indemnity, however, replaces him in his property, and puts Octave into high society, where every body is anxious to show attentions to the heir of two millions, viz. francs. One young lady, however, Armance de Zohnloff, his cousin, does not seem dazzled, and, of course, he falls in love with her. Displeased with the sycophantic company whom he has met, he determines on walking home in a heavy shower of rain, which gives him a great deal of pleasure ; and ruminates very pathetically upon love, when he is upset by a carriage, the wheel of which drives him against the wall and tears his waistcoat. Though he regrets that he was not annihilated by this noble accident, it had considerably refreshed him, “(la vue de la mort lui avait rafraichi le sang,') and when he goes home, the first reflection that occurs to him is, that his bed chamber is too low : the salon of the hotel Bonnivert, he remarks, is twenty feet high, which is much more conducive to health. His next determinations are noble; for he resolves upon having a small key for his library, ('une petite clef d'acier imperceptible, plus petite que celle d'un portefeuille,') and a set of large looking-glasses, seven feet high; on which he plays over an act of Don Juan, and goes to sleep.
Shortly afterwards he runs out into the streets for no particular reason, but what the gentlemen of the police would call a 'lark,' and is wounded. This incident leads to nothing; and the next particular of importance which we learn of our hero is his overhearing Armance telling a female friend, that the soul which she had thought so beautiful was entirely • bouleversée' by two millions. Here, for the first time, we learn that Armance was a young lady of a quiet, asiatic aspect, -—(she was born in Sebastopol) -but of a very firm determination, and what is of more importance, à de grands yeux bleus foncés,' which had ever made her the affection of all the femmes distinguées' of her acquaintance.
The course of true love never does run smooth; and accordingly Octave is soon entangled in a very considerable flirtation with a Madame de Bonnivert. This lady is a mystic, and is very anxious to understand Octave. He promises to tell her what he is, if she will keep it secret; she therefore produces an iron cross made at Konigsberg, on which she swears never to betray what he tells her, and accordingly the important secret is discovered to be—that he has no conscience.
In fooleries like this the book proceeds. It is absolutely impossible to wade through the commonplace dulness of the second volume, and we therefore proceed to the dénouement. The hero is wounded in a duel, fought heaven knows why, and his danger, à l'ordinaire, discovers the till then hidden love of Armance. After some skirmishing in the old and approved style, everything is arranged for their marriage. It is now discovered that there is some dreadful secret weighing upon the mind of Octave, which is at the bottom of all his singularities. This secret he is proceeding to tell his mistress, (p. 182,) when a cursed servant comes to announce that le déjeúner va sonner; and, wonderful to relate, the young lady prefers a petit páté to a secret.
However, it comes at last. After a thousand protestations of love, and exclamations of horror at what he is about to tell, Armance, forgetting her usual restraint, pressed his hand, and conjured him to speak. Her face was in a moment so near that of Octave's, that he felt the warmth of her breath. This sensation melted him, and speaking became easy. Yes, dear friend, (we have not a word for amie,) he said at last, looking her in the face, I adore thee—thou canst not doubt my love; but who is the man who adores thee ?—he is a monster. After such an avowal as this, it is no wonder that • le déjeúner fut silencieux et froid. Armance is sadly puzzled to conjecture in what way her lover has earned so desperate a title as that which he gives himself; but, making up her mind that it must be something very terrible, begins to accustom herself to be in love with an assassin, and succeeds completely s bientôt elle se trouva habituée à aimer un assassin.') In fact, she writes him a letter to say that she loves him more since the confession than before. Octave having gone to Paris, (then great events occur in the country,) after consultation with a friend, resolves on writing the secret fatal' to his mistress. He does so accordingly at the next café; but, as ill luck would have it, cannot find a post-office. On this he reflects that he ought not to send a letter of this importance (!) by post, fearing, we suppose, that M. de Villele would not hesitate to intercept a document of such high consequence, and he determines to take it himself. In the meantime,